Airports Council Announces Staff Promotions

Russo Elevated to Chief Political and Congressional Strategy Officer

WASHINGTON – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, today announced several staff promotions across the organization.

“Each day, I have the great privilege of working alongside a talented and passionate team of professionals,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “Each member of our team has contributed to the tremendous successes we have had since even before the onset of the pandemic, and even more so as our industry continues to respond to these challenging times.  I am thrilled to announce these well-deserved staff promotions and look forward to continuing our work into the future.”

Annie Russo has been named ACI-NA’s Chief Political and Congressional Strategy Officer, a new position for the organization.  Russo joined ACI-NA in April 2008 and previously served as Senior Vice President of Government and Political Affairs.  She develops and leads ACI-NA’s advocacy strategies on the many pressing legislative challenges facing the industry.

“Annie has brought sound leadership and valuable perspective in advancing airport industry priorities on Capitol Hill,” Burke said.  “Annie has been a proven and extremely effective advocate for our industry, most recently helping to secure $45 billion in infrastructure investment and COVID relief since the onset of the pandemic.  Our members and I count on her expertise and counsel daily as ACI-NA delivers results for our industry.”

Additional staff promotions include:

  • AmyClaire Brusch to Managing Director, Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Brusch joined ACI-NA in May 2019.  In her role, Brusch is responsible for fostering collaboration between federal agencies and the airport industry to advance key security, cybersecurity, and passenger facilitation policy priorities. She also serves as committee secretary to the Large Hub Committee.
  • Melinda Pagliarello to Managing Director, Environmental Affairs. Pagliarello joined ACI-NA in 2017.  In her role, she has primary responsibility for ACI-NA’s activities in aviation environmental matters and sustainability. She coordinates members’ responses and represents airport interests on international and federal agency actions, programs, requirements, research, and regulations affecting environmental matters for airports in North America. In her role as Environmental Affairs committee secretary, she works to facilitate member engagement and learning through her work overseeing nine active working groups, as well as several ad-hoc task groups.
  • Veronica Gerson to Senior Director, Member Services. Gerson joined ACI-NA in 2016 and leads efforts to retain and expand ACI-NA’s members by promoting membership value and assisting members in maximizing their member benefits.
  • Kathleen Henderson to Director, Aviation Security and Committee Affairs. Henderson joined the Canadian Airports Council, ACI-NA’s Canadian division, in 2018.   She has a broad range of airport operations experience in addition to emergency response, SMS, auditing, commercial leasing, airport security, project management and training.
  • Raechel Rucker to Director, Communications and Marketing. Rucker joined ACI-NA in March 2016.  Her responsibilities include managing ACI-NA’s publications, overseeing all marketing efforts for ACI-NA’s 20+ conferences, and planning ACI-NA’s communications-focused conferences. She is also the staff liaison for ACI-NA’s Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience Committee and Customer Experience Working Group.
  • Caitlin Sloan to Director, Conferences. Sloan joined ACI-NA in October 2014.  In her role, she directs all aspects of planning and executing ACI-NA conferences. She will work with senior management to strategize on the design, delivery and enhancement of ACI-NA specialty conferences and development of new conference revenue opportunities.
  • Yannis Benzoubair to Senior Manager, Air Policy. Benzoubair joined ACI-NA in January 2020, and most recently served as a Research Analyst in the Economic Affairs Department.  In his new role, he will focus on air service policy and industry priorities.



About ACI-NA

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at